Two scientists reported at a Smithsonian symposium that the future of tropical forests may not be as bleak as some conservation experts warn. Some of the world’s tropical rainforests that had been cut down are making a quick comeback.
About 135,000 square miles (350,000 square kilometers) of the original forested areas that were cut down by humans are growing back, according to Greg Asner of the Washington-based Carnegie Institution, a presenter at the symposium.
This regrowth is relatively quick, with the shady forest canopy closing in after just 15 years as trees grow taller and denser, offering habitat for creatures adapted to just this environment, such as birds with huge eyes able to see in the leafy gloom. (Full report, including gloomier outlooks from other scientists, at ENN)